Best Scholarship Websites 2021

ElitePersonalFinance
Last Update: February 8, 2021 College Students Loan Reviews Loans Scholarship

It’s sad how so many people still fail to realize the limitless amount of scholarship opportunities on the internet. But when you figure out that most people aren’t looking in the right places, this fact isn’t so surprising anymore. Indeed, there are many ways to find funding for both high school and college education that people either don’t know about or take for granted.

But if you’re really looking to find the right scholarship for you, then your first step to success is knowing about the top scholarship search websites that you can explore. The list below alone will help expose you to countless grants and opportunities that will match what you’re looking for. Recommending a single search site wouldn’t be such a good idea because you’re supposed to be taking in as many options as possible – the internet is too big to be covered by a single search site.

What Makes The Best Scholarship Websites?

There’s really no one criteria for the qualities of good scholarship websites for high school or college, but there are some criteria that can get you close. With so many websites out there, it’s wise to watch out for those websites that show signs of being an effective resource while being wary of the ones that have telltale signs of being unreliable.

  • While not all professional looking websites are legit, the websites usually bear the mark of accreditation of review websites and other online regulatory bodies. You can see their logos at the upper or lower part of their home pages. The testimonials from real people about how the website works also badges the legitimacy to look out for.
  • This is a close second to the first criteria for making a good scholarship website simply because legitimacy is a vague issue on the internet. But still, these search engines have to show off some degree of legitimacy. They have to show you that they are indeed experts in gathering information about the most relevant scholarships that you can find online based on your search. They have to deliver relevant, genuine results and aren’t just some random makeshift website for click baits and scams.
  • Always Up to Date. Close to the #2 item, this has got to be the most important aspect of the top scholarship websites you can find on the internet. Scholarship programs and grants are by nature limited, which means that sites have to be accurate as to their availability at the time when you’re searching for them. Whether it’s about the availability of slots or simply the program’s existence, good scholarship search engines will show you results that you can still avail of based on your search criteria.
  • User Friendly. If these search sites are going to cater to a wide audience online, they have to account for those who aren’t tech-savvy. This means that their search engines have to be easy to use but at the same time still have enough features to allow users to narrow their searches according to a lot of criteria, including by Location, Educational program, Type of grant, Number of years, Type of university/school and more!

While scholarship websites are supposed to provide a wide selection, the best scholarship websites can provide means to allow people to find exactly what it is that they’re looking for to help save time.

  • Detailed and informative. These websites should help applicants get a bird’s eye view of every program that they show on their search results. And as the user digs deeper, the website should be able to provide even more information about the selected scholarship program, including, but not limited to:
  • Brief descriptions of the university or school as well as the program they’ll be enrolling in.
  • The coverage of the scholarship.
  • Other details like the term of the scholarship.
  • Application requirements.

Good scholarship websites will even help their users make their way to these scholarship applications or at least provide means of contacting the institution concerned.

  • Better scholarship websites don’t just provide you with a search engine for available scholarships. Still, they go the extra mile by providing their users with useful information that could help them maximize their chances of getting the scholarship they need. Most of these websites have their own blogs to provide users with helpful resources to make them better for their respective scholarships. 
  • Yes, the best scholarship websites should be for free. They shouldn’t be charging you for any membership or commission. There are so many good websites out there that don’t impose any fees, which means that other sites that do aren’t worth it.

Some Scholarship Sites for High School Students and College Students

There are many good scholarship websites out there, but here are the best of them. They’ve been tried and tested by many people looking for scholarships just like you, and they’ve had good experiences with them.

Scholarships.com

This website has been around since 1999 and has since amassed over 2.7 million scholarships in its database that totals over $19 billion. Simple and free, using this website only takes a couple of minutes of signing up to get started.

This website uses three main methods to find the scholarship you need. First, it has the typical matching system where you input your student data, and the engine will provide results. But if you think you know what you’re looking for, you can head on to the site’s college directory and directly look for the college and any possible scholarships it might offer. Finally, there’s the college matchmaking system where, instead of going through a wide selection of scholarships, you can get yourself matched with a specific college or university based on the information that you provide.

Scholarships.com opens itself to all kinds of applicants, may they be currently in college or still in high school. They’ve helped many people find ways to pay for what otherwise would be expensive college programs. They also have a blog that’s constantly updated for the latest news in the world of college grants and funding.

Fastweb

Money 911’s experts and many other reviewers say that Fastweb is one of the top scholarship websites to check out. This is where targeted scholarships, financial aid, college searches, and career advice is mixed in one place, making it a one-stop resource for people looking to find ways to pay for their college tuition.

People who sign up for Fastweb get access to 1.5 million scholarships, which amount to $3.4 billion in funding. After some quick information input, members can organize and manage their scholarship lists to tidy up their search results. They can indicate which scholarships they like and which ones they’re not interested in.

On top of the simple search engine, members are also given a chance to enjoy other perks, such as:

  • A chance to win in monthly sweepstakes.
  • Find internship opportunities.
  • Read about the latest issues that matter in the student news.
  • Explore colleges with more detail by searching them based on location, costs, and available programs.

Fastweb is also known for providing $2,000 no essay scholarships, making it easy to find quick funding for the school.

Unigo

With over 650,000 college reviews, 7,000 colleges, 3.6 million scholarships, and 3.3 million textbooks in its database, Unigo really has a lot to offer to those looking for the top scholarship websites out there. The site offers detailed stats, reviews, and ratings of big universities and colleges like Stanford, Brown, and Harvard. Members who sign up for the website can also fully personalize their searches to get the results closest to what they want.

More than that, Unigo gives its members a chance to interact with real people for whatever questions and concerns they need help with throughout their application. This is also one of the few websites that have gone mobile, so you can track your scholarships and grab your needed study materials with a smartphone or tablet.

Chegg

What used to be a simple bookstore has somehow made its way to become one of the internet’s top online resources for education as well as one of the more effective college scholarship websites to rely on! It expanded its scholarship database to over $1 billion worth of funding when it acquired Zinch in 2011.

However, Chegg remains a site that mainly helps students excel at whatever stage they are in their education. It provides programs to help members with their homework, essays, and problems with one on one tutors and helpers. It helps them find the right college to apply to before they graduate. Chegg also helps members find internships to help kick start their careers. They even help their students have a bit of fun. This one is definitely more than your average scholarship search website.

College Board

Like most of the best scholarship websites mentioned here, College Board takes the extra mile in helping their members succeed in their scholarship search and applications. This scholarship search website also provides test preparation materials, search tools, and other online apps that have proven helpful for undergraduates and graduates alike.

The user profile is very comprehensive. You can make more specific scholarship searches by adding applicable loans, internships, and research grants with the scholarship. You’re definitely going to love this website if you’re looking for apps to help you do well with your SATs, CLEPs, and other exams. You’ll also love the mentoring apps and features for AP mentoring.

The websites mentioned above are just some of the legitimate scholarship websites you can try. Make sure to look up other similar search engines and see what they can offer you as well. Just don’t forget to keep an eye out for the telltale signs of what makes a good scholarship website, as discussed above.

How to Find Legitimate Scholarship Sites and Sources

As mentioned before, legitimacy is a big issue when it comes to picking the right scholarship websites. But it’s not just about the accuracy of information. Some will try to pose themselves as sites that offer aid and funding for education but are actually scams. So before you head on to exploring other websites for financial aid, you’ll want to learn how to protect yourself from fraud and identity theft.

  • Don’t pay for any service to help find the money for college

First of all, charging fees for aid and information isn’t illegal or fraudulent per se, but on the internet, it’s easy for sites to run away with your money without delivering what they promised. Sometimes the fraud is subtler, such as when the site gives less than what it promised in exchange for payment.

But the thing is many of the best scholarship website today is for free. So don’t ever waste your money by paying other sites to help you find financial aid or grants. Thankfully, many of these scam websites are easy to spot, like when:

  • The site offers things that are too good to be true.
  • The charges are way too high.
  • The site asks for too much personal and banking information (things legitimate scholarship websites don’t usually ask for).

We’re not saying that you shouldn’t invest, but it is a pretty dangerous investment to make. And given all your alternatives, you save your money and not part with it at all.

Check out Lots of Free Information on Scholarships Available Online

Scholarships and the companies that sponsor them know that they are reaching out to applicants who are usually short on funding, so they help them out by giving free information. Here are some excellent resources to start with:

  • Government agencies

Nowadays, they will provide information on offline resources and online sources like scholarship websites as well. You can check with your local government or the federal agency that manages and regulates education scholarships and research grants.

  • Your own college or school

If you’re looking for scholarship websites for high school students and college students, you can actually check with the academic institution that you’re currently enrolled with. Because you are their product, they are interested in ensuring that you get the best college or post-graduate opportunity because your success affects their reputation. They’ll definitely be able to provide both online and offline resources to help you find the funding you need.

  • Foundations and organizations

Some of these organizations are very specific, such as when they cater to a certain minority (i.e., gender, ethnicity, religion), but there are also universal coverage groups. While these organizations have an offline base of operations, the Internet’s rise has surely prompted them to have an online counterpart. This means that you can reach out to them for inquiries even if you’re far away from their physical office. 

Note: Some websites offer to help you process your FAFSA or free application for federal student aid. Avoid these sites. The government does not accredit them in any way. If you’re going for FAFSA, you should transact with the federal government’s agency.

Avoid Websites that Ask for Sensitive and Personal Information

Try exploring any of the websites mentioned above, and you’ll notice that they have one thing in common: they never ask for personal information to give you your scholarship matches. It doesn’t make sense that a website needs your credit card or contact information to help you search for scholarships based on location, cost, or degree type. Just like any website on the internet, a legitimate scholarship website will never do anything to compromise your own personal security.

Tip: Think your personal or student information has been stolen? Or is there any website you think engaging in fraudulent activity? Make sure to immediately report it to your local government or federal agency concerned.

Some Tips for Getting The most from These Scholarship Websites

  • Start early

Many scholars and young professionals have had a common regret – that they wished they started earlier with the program they’re in. If you’re still in high school or college looking to get a post-graduate degree, don’t wait until after you graduate to find the scholarship you’re looking for. Start thinking about the future now, and look for the funding you’ll need. Here’s why:

  • You will need the extra time to work on those requirements so you don’t get delayed with your application.
  • Some applications naturally take time to be processed. The sooner it gets processed, the earlier you can start.
  • Other people might beat you to it. Funding is always limited (although admittedly, there are many programs out there). Don’t miss out on the scholarship you’re dreamed of because someone else got accepted first.
  • Comply with all the requirements in the best way possible

Scholarship applications can be very competitive. If you’re going to send a mediocre application, then you might not get accepted at all. Not even all the best applications get the scholarships they want. These requirements include:

Your college and high school performance. Make sure you do your best in school so that you’ve got a nice transcript to show to the institution you’re applying with.

Any essay that’s required for the application. The best scholarship websites will definitely help you out with this one.

Written recommendations, if any. Ensure the people you’re asking for recommendations from will put in a good word for you.

  • Keep track of those deadlines

If you miss out on the date of submission of the application, there’s very little to no chance that you’re getting that funding. Because of how competitive these programs are, they tend to be very strict when it comes to deadlines.

  • Be honest about your personal circumstances

Some people think it’s a good idea to paint their personal situation as tougher than it actually is to sympathize with some programs. But if you get caught, you’re going to be in a lot of trouble. Scholarship programs have high regard for integrity and don’t want their applicants lying about themselves.

The best scholarship websites will make a world of difference in helping you find the scholarship you need. But you’ve got to work hard as well. Just follow the tips mentioned above and make use of the resources available to you, and you’ll definitely find what you’re looking for.

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